SCOTTISH pop act Sandi Thom is heading for Galashiels next year for a gig which could lead to a series of big names appearing in the Borders.
The 31-year-old from Banff has agreed that her Volunteer Hall performance on June 16 should be supported by local acts.
“A lot of young musicians approach me asking for help,” said Galashiels music promoter Bill Jeffrey, who is the man behind Thom’s Borders show.
“I felt that if we could get a big name into the Borders and supplied support slots for some young bands or solo acts that it would be a great boost to their CV.
“It will be a great opportunity for some young acts to show what they can do.”
“Hopefully, if this is a success, we can attract more big names to the area and maybe host three or four similar concerts in the Borders.”
Any acts wishing to make a breakthrough into the mainstream music industry would be advised to show some of the innovation Thom and her PR manager did back in 2006.
After the release date of her signature song I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker was delayed in 2005 after failing to attract much attention, she began a series of 21 shows, all from her London flat, which were broadcast across the internet via a webcam.
After an initial online audience of around 60, Thom’s crowd grew to an estimated 60,000, with the help of a PR web campaign.
The media exposure gained from the run of shows led to Thom signing a deal with Sony and her lead single being re-released in May 2006.
After a succession of weeks in the charts, it rose to number 1 in June 2006, while her debut album also debuted at the top spot, with global sales eventually topping one million.
The singer-songwriter has failed to match the huge success she enjoyed during the summer of 2006.
But she remains a prominent artist, having released three more studio albums, her latest entitled Flesh and Blood, out this year.
She has also supported the likes of Snow Patrol and George Michael during her six years in the limelight.
Bill Jeffrey, who still assists son Craig in his career as a singer-songwriter, hopes Thom’s appearance can lead to better things – not just for Borders musicians selected to perform on the same bill, but also the general economy of the region.
He told us: “I know when Morrissey played at Hawick last year, all the B&Bs were booked within a 10-mile radius.
“Getting big acts into the area not only helps the music scene, but local businesses also.
“There is a healthy music scene in the Borders, it is just the case of giving it a kick in the behind to get moving.
“Acts just bypass the Borders and head up to Glasgow and Edinburgh, but we have some cracking venues here.
“Jedburgh Town Hall is like a venue in the south of America. These halls could be getting filled every week.
“I would eventually love to see a big festival brought to the Borders. There is no reason why it could not work,” added Bill, who thanked Scottish Borders Council for its assistance with putting together the Volunteer Hall show.
Any acts wishing to support Sandi Thom should keep an eye on TheSouthern in the new year, when we will hold a competition for one of the slots.
Tickets for Sandi Thom, priced at £15, can be bought now at www.borderevents.com or phone 01750 725480.